Congressmen submit bill to give tribal casinos access to online gambling


Posted on: Jul 5, 2021 at 2:47 am

Last updated: July 5, 2021, 3:30 am.

Two congressmen have tabled laws that would try to help more tribal casinos implement online gambling.

Tribal online games
US MP Lou Correa speaks during a meeting of the House Homeland Security Committee last month. On Thursday, the California Democrat tabled a bill that would remove barriers for tribal casinos to offer online gaming. (Image: US MP Lou Correa / Twitter)

US MP Lou Correa (D-Calif.) Issued a statement on Thursday introducing HR 4308 into the congressional report. In his remarks, he said he tabled the bill to do what lawmakers would have done in 1988 if there were online games. It was then that Congress passed the Indian Gambling Regulation Act. However, it would not authorize any type of games and leave that to the states.

“This bill would make it clear that the location of the bet for the purposes of the tribal government game occurs at the location of the server, unless a state and an Indian tribe agree otherwise,” Correa said in his remarks. “This clarification will keep the current tribal game system intact and eliminate all frivolous litigation.”

The bill was announced the day before a federal lawsuit was filed in Florida. This lawsuit seeks to stop the amended Tribal Gaming Compact, which would give the Seminole Tribe exclusive nationwide mobile sports betting rights in that state.

Correa pointed out that with the legalization of forms of online gambling, including sports betting, casino games, and poker, tribal states risk losing a source of income that has enabled them to improve education, health care, and housing for their communities.

Congress needs to make the clarification in my bill to ensure that tribal gaming does not have the same fate as blockbusters, but like Netflix can thrive and thrive in the internet age, ”Correa said.

US MP John Katko (R-NY) joined Correa as the first Bill co-sponsor.

Similar bill tabled in 2019

This is not the first time lawmakers on Capitol Hill have tried to extend gaming rights for indigenous nations.

In December 2019, then-US MP Anthony Brindisi (D-NY) tabled a similar bill that would have removed state barriers to online sports betting. However, that bill did not even get a committee hearing before the end of the Congressional session last December.

Brindisi also lost its re-election offer for the New York state seat to Republican Claudia Tenney.

Another New York Congressman, US Democratic MP Brian Higgins, was also a sponsor of Brindisi’s bill, as was US MP Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.). Both of these members are still in the House of Representatives.

New developments in large states

A lot has happened to tribal casinos and the expansion of US online gaming since Brindisi’s bill.

In addition to the amended gaming pact that is now being questioned in Florida, New York approved mobile sports betting in the draft budget passed in April. But even this proposal has raised concerns among tribal operators there.

The Oneida Indian Nation said the current plan in New York could prohibit residents of a 10-county upstate area where the tribe has exclusive gaming rights from betting online in the area.

The Katko district includes part of the Oneida play area.

Tribal leaders also said they could suspend payments of $ 70 million to local and state governments if they were banned from sports betting.

The New York application process, which has been delayed for unknown reasons, is asking the Gambling Commission to award additional points to vendors who enter into a revenue-sharing pact with a tribal gambling authority.

In late May, the California Secretary of State approved a vote for November 2022. This referendum would allow the state’s tribal game operators to offer sports betting on tribal land.

Bill could influence other states with tribal casinos

The bill could also affect tribal owners in other states. New Mexico’s tribal casinos were among the first in the country to offer sports betting after the Supreme Court repealed the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in 2018.

North Carolina currently allows its tribal casinos to offer sports betting. Indiana recently approved an amended contract with the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians to allow them to run a sports betting retail business. However, the Indian agreement did not allow mobile access from tribal land.

In the meantime, Connecticut will enable its tribal gaming operators to offer nationwide sports betting. Michigan became the first state in January to allow its tribal casinos to offer mobile gaming by giving them state licensing for online access.


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